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U.S. judge says AT&T-Time Warner merger trial may last 8 weeks

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said on Thursday a trial to decide if AT&T’s (T.N) $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc TWX.N is legal under U.S. antitrust law may last six to eight weeks, significantly longer than previously forecast.

At a pre-trial hearing, Leon said he will hear up to two days of motions before hearing opening arguments on Wednesday.

Lawyers for the government and both companies did not comment on Leon’s estimate on the length of the trial; they had previously suggested it would last three weeks.

The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit in November to stop AT&T, which owns DirecTV and other products with 25 million subscribers, from buying movie and TV show maker Time Warner, which owns HBO and CNN, among many other channels, saying it上海夜生活论坛 could raise prices for rivals and pay-TV subscribers while hampering the development of online video.

The judge will hear arguments on a number of objections including whether some emails can be introduced as evidenc,上海夜生活桑拿会所Jack,e and how to handle potentially confidential information during the trial.

Shares of AT&T closed nearly unchanged at,上海夜生活怎么玩Easton, $37.04, while Time Warner closed up 0.5 percent to $96.88.

Leon warned reporters not to use electronic devices and said they could be banned from the courtroom a,上海夜生活去哪玩Lance,nd held in contempt of court if they violated the prohibition.

He also discouraged the government and companies from attempting to try the case in the press, saying his goal was to ensure both sides receive a fair trial. “The case will be tried in this room,” Leon said.

After the hearing, Leon told both sides to “Get your rest” before the start of a lengthy trial.

Trump set for China tariff announcement on Thursday, trade war…

WASHINGTON ( ) – President Donald Trump will announce tariffs on Chinese imports on Thursday, a White House official said, in a move aimed at curbing theft of U.S. technology and likely to trigger retaliation from Beijing and stoke fears of a global trade war.

There was no indication of the size and scope of the tariffs, which U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday would target China’s high-technology sector and could also include restrictions on Chinese investments in the United States. Other sectors like apparel could also be hit.

“Tomorrow the president will announce the actions he has decided to take based on USTR’s 301 investigation into China’s state-led, market-distorting efforts to force, pressure, and steal U.S. technologies and intellectual property,” the official said.

The White House said Trump would sign a presidential me上海夜生活morandum “targeting China’s economic aggression” at 12:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) on Thursday.

The investigation by the United States under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act has identified theft from and coercion of U.S. companies to disclose their intellectual property as well as purchases by Chinese state funds of U.S. companies for their technology knowledge.

Lighthizer told the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, a top economic panel, that the aim would be to minimize the impact of any tariffs on U.S. consumers.

China has threatened to retaliate by hitting U.S. agricultural exports if tariffs on Chinese imports worth up to $60 billion are announced by Washington.

“The remedies, in my judgment at least, would be one, doing something on the tariff front, and two, doing something on the investment front, and then perhaps other things,” said Lighthizer, a lawyer and veteran trade negotiator.

The United States runs a hefty goods tr,上海夜生活Gabrielle,ade deficit with China of $375 billion. Estimates of the cost of counterfeit goods, pirated software and theft of trade secrets could be as high as $600 billion, according to one study.

Talk of a gl,上海夜生活去哪玩Barbara,obal trade war emerged earlier this month when Trump announced hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, aimed at hitting Chinese overproduction, but which could also affect key allies like members of the European Union.

Lighthizer conceded that China would likely hit back with measures on U.S. agricultural exports, particularly soybeans, and said if that happened, Washington would impose “counter-measures,” although he said that “nobody wins from a trade war,” a stance that appeared to put him at odds with Trump who has termed trade wars “good and easy to win”.

Related CoverageChina says must protect interests in face of U.S. trade actionsChina says wants win-win solution with U.S. to settle trade issuesSee more stories

Since taking office, Trump has taken a hard line on trade, abandoning a 14-nation Pacific trade pact and threatening to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

He has also attacked Germany, saying it hides behind tariffs to win an export advantage for its car industry.

The administration has been forced to walk back some of its steel and aluminum measures, granting exemptions to Canada and Mexico and entering talks with the European Union and others to discuss potential exemptions.

CHINA STEELS ITSELF FOR RESPONSE

China has already identified agriculture as a U.S. weak point and has said it would target soybeans, a $14 billion-a- year business. America’s farm states heavily backed Trump in his presidential election win.

“China does not want to fight a trade war with anyone. But if anyone forces us to fight one, we will neither be scared nor hide,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

“If, in the end, the United States takes actions that harm China’s interests then China will have to take resolute and necessary steps to respond to protect our legitimate interests.”

The European Union’s response to the threat of steel and aluminum tariffs also targeted areas where Republicans are vulnerable, threatening Harley-Davidson motorcycles, which are made in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin.

While China has stepped up its rhetoric, it is far from clear that Beijing is ready to take the next step and move to an economi,上海夜生活怎么玩Mabel,c confrontation that would pit the world’s two leading economic powers against each other.

Financial markets reacted to the Trump steel and aluminum tariffs with an initial sharp sell-off, although they have since regained their poise.

A global trade war would have much harsher economic consequences, possibly hitting the dollar, U.S. stock markets and currencies as varied as the Mexican peso and the Australian dollar, according to analysis from investment bank Morgan Stanley.

A targeted use of Section 301 that covered $60 billion of Chinese high-tech products could see a response from China that is relatively muted, the bank said in a report, with agriculture and transport equipment being hit in return,

“This would have a moderate impact on growth in both the U.S. and China,” it said.

The risk of an escalation in which there were a broad-based tariff across a range of Chinese goods followed by a response from Beijing that was commensurate with that would cause a hit to U.S. and Chinese growth, a rise in U.S. inflation and possibly prompt China to take domestic action to boost growth.

Written by shyw on July 29, 2019 Categories: pqypogrx Tags: , ,

Brexit and the City: Food for thought from London dining room

LONDON ( ) – Diners are still flocking to the elegant, glass-domed dining room at 1 Lombard Street, despite uncertainty about London’s future after Britain exits the European Union next year.

But the restaurant’s owner, former banker Soren Jessen, says Brexit is hampering his ability to hiring qualified staff.

has created a tracker that monitors six indicators, including restaurant and bar license applications, to help assess the fortunes of “the City” as Brexit talks progress.

The second edition of the tracker shows signs of a slowdown, with the number of venues with licenses to sell alcohol in the City of London falling 1.6 percent in 2017.

The number of venues applying for new licenses was flat compared with the previous year, the data shows, although the City of London Corporation said such fluctuations were normal.

Below are excerpts from the latest interview with Jessen.

Q: What are you seeing now – is there anything different?

A: We’ve seen difficulty in hiring staff and difficulty in sourcing the right people for new jobs. We’re not getting the flow that we would norma上海夜生活网lly see. But (w,上海021夜网Dalton,hat) we’re not seeing yet is a change in customers’ behavior… We’re still busy. We are apprehensive to see if there will be reaction in people’s spend or people going out less, but so far we haven’t seen that.

Q: Last time you mentioned how important EU citizens are for your sector and your staff – that remains the same I presume?

A: They’re crucial, not only because I’m opening two new restaurants this year that we need new staff (for), but to just keep the widest possible sourcing we need the whole world to be available and if we can only source from British staff it’d be a huge problem for the whole sector, the industry.

Q: The figure you put on it last time was that you had twenty percent of the applicants you had the year before, is that around the same?

A: It’s probably the same number but we get the quality of the applications and less people have less experience. So… if we’re looking for an assistant manager or a sort of mid-management level we might get one in 30 applicants that we would get before. We’ll get a lot of applicants (from) the entry level, but they are not qualified.

Q: What’s stopping people coming – is it the lack of clarity in the living rights of EU citizens?

A: It’s definitely that, lots of people who just think of other places, and England or Britain has now sent a message, a quite strong message, that we’re not that keen on pe,上海高端夜生活在那里Balthazar,ople coming from abroad. That alone I think makes a lot of young people think ‘well, I can go to Berlin and go to Portugal’…

Q: Since the vote, how has business changed in terms of customer mood?

A: I think there is a change in dining out in London that’s happened over the last 5-10 years and it’s changed from expensive, celebratory, extravagant, much higher-end gastronomic dining to much more casual dining. But the frequency I would say is the same or up. So the change is more in terms of spend and the type of dining out, but dining out is as busy as ever.

Q: Last time we spoke, you said there was a ‘wait and see’ approach in the industry – do you think that’s still the case?

A: Definitely. I think that if you’re looking for places (to rent) it’s a good change because there are places, more places available and less people competing for the same space. It’s a welcome change in (that) there are more properties available for good restaurants.

Q: In terms of the Brexit negotiations, what issues do you think need to be resolved for you to see progress on the issues that are really concerning you?

A: We just need some clarity on what’s going to happen and when. We need some dates. I think eventually the outcome will be something we can live with, but not knowing is something we can’t live with for very long.

Q: Do you think that there’s been quite a lot of reputational damage done to Britain?

A: There’s been huge reputational damage in the sense that Brexit, from the outside world, is seen as retrenching into old Britain and not embracing the future and not being open to other cultures,,上海夜网千花Rachel, and young, energetic, innovative people coming from abroad. I don’t think that would eventually be the case, but that’s been the message and it’s hugely negative.

Kinross Gold settles U.S. charges related to bribe prevention in…

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Canadian-based mining company Kinross Gold Corp agreed to pay $950,000 to settle civil 上海夜网charges that it failed to ensure its payments in Africa were not being used to bribe government officials.

The SEC said in a statement Monday the company did little to verify payments to politically connected consultants and vendors – often made in cash – in,上海夜生活群Gabrielle, Ghana and Mauritania were being used for their stated purpose.

For example between 2012 and 2015, Kinross paid a Ghanaian consultant $1,000 in cash per work visa he helped obtain for company staff, without detailing just what this former government official did to help expedite the process, the SEC said.

The U.S,上海夜生活去哪玩Dalton,. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compels companies to maintain book keeping practices aimed at preventing bribery.

Louie Diaz, a Kinross spokesman, said in an email that the SEC had made no findings that bribes had been paid, but rather targeted shortcomi,上海夜哪里艳遇Fabi,ngs in “timeliness and maintenance of our internal controls in West Africa, which we have strengthened and improved.”

As part of the civil settlement Kinross did not admit or deny wrongdoing but pledged to improve its accounting and compliance practices, Kinross said in a statement.

The Justice Department notified Kinross that it had closed its parallel criminal investigation last year, Kinross said in a statement.

Hyundai union head fears GM-like crisis; says electric cars destroy…

ULSAN, South Korea ( ) – Hyundai Motor’s (005380.KS) union chief warned its workers may face a similar crisis to the one hitting General Motors’ (GM.N) South Korean unit as sales in key markets slide, adding that electric cars were ‘evil’ and will destroy jobs.

South Korea’s auto industry, known for its robust unions whose workers tend to be paid more and have better benefits than their compatriots in other sectors, has come to a crossroads.

Blaming high labor costs and falling sales, General Motors (GM.N) plans to close one of its plants in the country by May and is weighing options for its three other factories.

“We’re feeling job anxiety. We’re feeling a sense of crisis,” Ha Bu-young, the head of the Hyundai Motor union, South Korea’s biggest and most powerful union, told in an interview late last week.

He said that at three of Hyundai’s five plants in Ulsan, the world’s biggest car factory complex, some workers had been asked to take longer holidays as sales of sedans and older model SUVs like the Santa Fe slow in the United States and other markets.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors (000270.KS) were also hit by diplomatic tensions between Seoul and Beijing last year, leading to a slump in sales in the world’s biggest auto market. The two automakers have flagged only modest global sales growth in 2018.  

Longer term, Ha worries about the advent of electric cars, which when they go mainstream could wreak havoc on traditional auto jobs as they don’t require engines and transmissions.

Hyundai’s union has predicted a drastic shift into electric cars could ,上海夜生活网交流Octava,lead to a loss of 70 percent of Hyundai jobs in a worst case scenario.

“Electric cars are disasters. They are evil. We are very nervous,” he said.

Ha said the union is studying how cars of the future might be built without slashing headcount and has proposed the automaker revive a committee to review the impact o上海夜生活论坛f new vehicles and new technology on jobs.

He also noted that some 30,000 workers out of 50,000 union members will retire in 15 years, which could cushion the impact that cars of the future could have on staffing levels.

FREE TRIPS TO EUROPE

At GM’s South Korean unit, the threat of potential plant closures has led its union to offer to freeze wages and skip bonuses while about 15 percent of its employees have applied for a voluntary redundancy package.

While there is a sense of crisis at Hyundai’s union, the situation is not that dire.

Hyundai’s management has proposed th,上海夜网后花园Kaia,e scaling back of some benefits such as free week-long trips to Europe for 500 workers annually as well as support for some employees’ sporting events – a proposal that the union plans to oppose, a union official said.

But the union will for the first time seek pay raises for temporary workers this year that are higher than those of full-time auto workers, responding to criticism that regular auto works are generously paid.

It will ask for a 7.4 percent wage increase for temporary workers versus a 5.3 percent wage raise for regular workers, Ha said, in line with a policy advocated by the umbrella union for South Korea’s metal workers.

Last year,上海夜网邀请码Idaline, Hyundai’s union initially demanded annual wage increases of 7 percent for its full-time workers and won a raise of less than 5 percent after tense negotiations that involved strikes.

The shift towards improving pay for non-full time workers could invite opposition within the union, said Ha, adding that he was trying to right old wrongs.

Saudi’s Kingdom Holding proposes fiscal year dividend

RIYADH ( ) – Saudi Arabian investment firm Kingdom Holding 4280.SE proposed a cash dividend of 0.50 riyals per share for 2,上海新夜网龙凤Hallie,017, t上海夜生活he company said on Thursday.

Chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who holds a 95 percent stake, waived his share of proposed dividends worth 299.2 million riyals quarterly ($79.8 million), it added in a bourse filing.

Alwaleed will still receive 562.7 million riyals in dividend for the year, a company official told .

“This is consistent with what he has received over the past seven years when the company started giving dividends. What he is giving up is 299.2 million riyals per quarter,” the official added.

Prince Alwaleed, the kingdom’s most recognized business figure, was freed on Jan. 27 after being held at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel for three months on the orders of his cousin Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He said in a television interview last week that he had reached an agreement with the government for his release, but declined to disclose the details. He added that he was looking for investments up to $3 billion.

Alwaleed, a nephew,上海夜生活桑拿会所Eason, of Saudi King Salman, is closely wat,上海夜网官方网站Gabrielle,ched in international markets because of investments in companies such as Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O).

Kingdom Holding announced earlier on Thursday a net profit of 663.6 million riyals versus a loss of 350 million riyals a year ago on an increase in income from investments.

Bayer wins EU approval for $62.5 billion Monsanto buy

BRUSSELS ( ) – German conglomerate Bayer won EU antitrust approval on Wednesday for its $62.5 billion buy of U.S. peer Monsanto, the latest in a trio of mega mergers that will reshape the agrochemicals industry.

The tie-up is set to create a company with control of more than a quarter o,上海会所夜网Sabia,f the world’s seed and pesticides market.

Driven by shifting weather patterns, competition in grain exports and a faltering global farm economy, Dow and Dupont, and ChemChina and Syngenta had earlier led a wave of consolidation in the sector.

Both deals secured EU approval only after the companies of上海夜生活网fered substantial asset sales to boost rivals.

Environmental and farming groups have opposed all three deals, worried about their power and their advantage in digital farming data, which can tell farmers how and when to till, sow, spray, fertilize and pick crops based on algorithms.

Related CoverageU.S. says it is still reviewing Bayer’s planned Monsanto acquisition

The European Commission said Bayer addressed its concerns with its offer to sell a swathe of assets to boost rival BASF, confirming a story on Feb. 28.

“Our decision ensures that there will be effective competition and innovation in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture markets also after this merger,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“In particular, we have made sure that the number of global players actively competing in these markets stays the same.”

Vestager said the Commission, which received more than a million petitions concerning the deal, had been thorough by examining more than 2,000 different product markets and 2.7 million internal documents to produce a 1,285-page ruling.

The U.S. Justice Department, which is also reviewing the merger, said in a statement on its website that it would press on with its review and that the market in the two regions was quite different.

“While genetically modified seeds are largely prohibited in Europe, they are widely used throughout the United States,” the department noted. “The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice continues to examine the effects of the proposed transaction on American farmers and consumers.”

China has given conditional approval to the Bayer and Monsanto deal, which has won a green light in Brazil. It is currently being reviewed by Russian antitrust authorities too.

Australia said on Thursday it would not oppose the deal following the divestment commitment.

Bayer has already reached a deal to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for 5.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion) to BASF and to give it a license to its global digital farming data. It will also divest its vegetable seeds business to BASF.

The ,上海新夜网龙凤Macey,Commission is due to rule on the BASF deal by April 16.

Online campaigns group Avaaz criticized the EU approval.

“This is a marriage made in hell. The Commission ignored a million people who called on them to block this d,上海夜网后花园Oakley,eal, and caved in to lobbying to create a mega-corporation which will dominate our food supply,” Avaaz legal director Nick Flynn said.

U.S.-incorporated Avaaz, funded by its members, is active in climate change, poverty, conflict and corruption issues.

The Greens grouping in the European Parliament echoed the sentiment, saying smaller players in the agriculture industry needed to be helped too.

“The agriculture industry is already far too concentrated, giving a handful of massive firms a stranglehold on food production. Merging two of the biggest players only makes a bad situation worse,” Greens spokesman Bart Staes said.

Oil prices jump, Brent hits highest in more than 2 weeks

NEW YORK ( ) – Oil prices jumped on Friday, with Brent crude futures hitting their,上海夜网Ida, highest in more than two weeks as U.S. stock prices rose and investors covered short bets ahead of a weekend in which the U.S. news program “60 Minutes” will air an interview with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be on “60 Minutes” on Sunday “comparing Iran’s Ayatollah to Hitler, and the battle in Ghouta, Syria, is ramping up,” said John Kilduff, partner at investment manager Again Capital in New York. “You can’t be short oil over the weekend with all that going on in the region.”

Brent futures rose $1.09 to settle at $66.21 a barrel, a 1.7 percent gain. During the session, Brent hit $66.42,上海夜网千花Fabi,, its highest since Feb. 28.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April, which will expire on Tuesday, rose $1.15 to settle at $62.34 a barrel, a 1.9 percent gain. WTI hit a high of $62.54, its highest since March 7.

Brent futures gained 1 percent for the week, while WTI marked a weekly rise of 0.4 percent. It was the second straight weekly rise for both contracts.

Gains on Wall Street also supported crude futures, which have recently been moving in tandem with U.S. stock indices.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bullish bets on U.S. crude oil futures and options in the week to March 13, as crude prices fell for a second week, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said.

The speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 24,667 contracts to 453,864 during the period. The cuts marked the second consecutive week in which speculators cut their net long positions in the market.

U.S. drillers added four oil rigs this week, bringing the total count to 800, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said. It was the seventh U.S. rig count rise in eight weeks.

On Thursday the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted global oil demand would pick up this year, but supply is growing at a faste上海夜生活r pace, which should boost inventories.

The agency raised its forecast for oil demand this year to 99.3 million barrels per day (bpd) from 97.8 million bpd in 2017, and said it expected supply from non-OPEC nations to grow by 1.8 million bpd in 2018 to 59.9 million bpd, led by ,上海021夜网Balthazar,the United States.

OPEC and other producers have cut output to reduce a global crude glut.

On Wednesday, the U.S. government reported that crude stockpiles in the United States increased by a more-than-expected 5 million barrels.

Written by shyw on January 21, 2019 Categories: pqypogrx Tags: , , ,

Facebook’s security chief to depart, source says

( ) – Facebook chief information security officer Alex Stamos is leaving the company in August, a source said on Monday, and a report cited internal disagreements over how the social network should deal with its role in spreading disinformation.

The social media company has already taken away Stamos’ responsibilities to counter government-sponsored disinformation, the source said.

Not denying his exit, Stamos tweeted that his role at the company did change, but he was still fully engaged with work at Facebook.

Facebook could not be immediately reached ,上海会所夜网Ida,for comment.

The New York Times first reported his departure from the company.

Inside Facebook, Stamos had been strongly advocating for investigating and disclosing Russian activity on the social media platform, often to the consternation of top executives, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the newspaper said.

Stamos’ responsibilities were reassigned in December after which Stamos said he would leave the company, the Times said.

Stamos was pe上海夜生活网rsuaded to stay through August to oversee the transition of his duties because company executives thought his exit would look bad, it said, citing current and former employees.

Facebook’s reputation is already under attack over Russia’s alleged use of Facebook to,上海夜生活网419Quay,ols to sway U.S. voters with divisive and false news posts before and after the 2016 election.

The company is under fresh scrutiny after media reports that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested private information from more than 50 million Facebook users in developing techniques to support President Donald ,上海夜生活乌托邦Gabriella,Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

Success for Uber’s direct loan despite driverless fatality

NEW YORK (LPC) – Uber Technologies’ self-arranged term loan B was increased to US$1.5bn, justifying the taxi app company’s unconventional approach to raising the loan and succeeding despite news that one of the company’s self-driving cars had killed a pedestrian.

The groundbreaking seven-year new-money loan was placed with investors directly through Uber’s capital markets team, rather than through a syndication process led by arranging banks, and also priced tight of guidance.

It is largely a bridge loan designed to fund Uber’s steep cash burn until its planned 2019 IPO, and also required investors to get comfortable with unusual credit metrics, including negative Ebitda.

The Uber car hit and killed Elaine Herzberg in Arizona late on March 18, in what is believed to be the first fatality involving a self-driving vehi,上海夜生活服务Qirin,cle.

News of the accident emerged the following day, and Uber pulled forward the commitment deadline on its loan to Ma,上海高端夜生活在那里Idaline,rch 21 from an original deadline of March 22.

Uber was still able to capitalize on strong investor demand and the deal size was increased by US$250m from US$1.25bn at launch. ,上海夜网推油Jacob,

After the accident, Uber said it would halt the self-driving program in Arizona, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto and continue to assist local, state and federal authorities as concern rippled through the auto industry.

Proceeds were earmarked for general corporate purposes – a generic use that includes investment in autonomous vehicle technology, investors said.

“I’m guessing the pullback [in that investment] will be temporary,” one investor said.

Another investor said: “I do not think the death changes anything. Six thousand pedestrians are killed a year. People are thinking, if everything craps out, will someone buy this money-losing operation for more than my loan balance?”

The loan ultimately cleared at 400bp with a 1% Libor floor at 99.5, versus opening guidance of a 425bp-450bp over Libor range with a 1% floor and 99 OID.

LEVERAGELESS

The direct placement strategy was intended to avoid attracting scrutiny from US banking regulators because the loan might breach leveraged lending guidelines. The rules raise concerns about transactions having a debt-to-Ebitda ratio of over six times or deals that are unable to be paid down by half with cashflow over five to seven years.

Uber reported roughly negative US$2bn of Ebitda in 2017, two sources said, leaving potential investors without the traditional debt-to-Ebitda credit ratio that they rely on to conduct analysis.

“It’s just too hard do a ‘real’ analysis on it,” said the second investor.

Unusually, the loan was marketed on a loan-to-value ratio. Uber is touting an equity value of US$75bn, which would provide上海夜生活 ample coverage for lenders, although that valuation is only implied.

The current valuation follows the purchase of a 17.5% stake in the company in January by an investor consortium led by Japan’s Softbank that included a tender offer for existing shares at a US$48bn valuation and new equity at a US$68bn valuation.

Including capital expenditure and interest expense, the company burned through roughly US$3bn of cash last year. The loan will boost balance sheet cash to nearly US$6bn.

CLO TRADE

Uber’s leveraged loan market debut in 2016 was criticized by regulators. Morgan Stanley led the US$1.15bn TLB with Barclays, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. The deal priced at 400bp over Libor with a 1% floor.

Regulated banks could not play a direct role in the new deal as Uber is a “criticized name”, and Uber was reluctant to go outside its relationship bank group to an unregulated lead arranger, which led to the unconventional structure.

Morgan Stanley was the only bank to play an active role in the new deal, but as Uber’s financial advisor rather than a conventional arranger. Unlike in the 2016 transaction, the bank did not serve as administrative agent.

Macquarie is also serving as an intermediary to CLOs seeking to play the deal. As offshore vehicles, CLOs are prohibited from investing in US loans directly because doing so would be construed as origination, which could otherwise subject them to US corporate income taxes.

CLOs must wait for a seasoning period – typically around 48 hours – during which the originator closes and funds the loan, before it is moved into the CLO via assignment. The process avoids any potential tax liabilities.

Macquarie, which is nonregulated and therefore not subject to the leveraged lending guidance, is funding some of the loan that will be assigned to CLO accounts. Cortland Capital Market Services is the administrative agent.

(This version of the story corrects Morgan Stanley’s role in 2018 deal)

British VW drivers start ‘dieselgate’ claim in High Court

LONDON ( ) – Lawyers for more than 50,000 British car owners kicked off a lawsuit against Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) in London’s High Court on Tuesday in a battle for compensation over a diesel emissions scandal that has engulfed Europe’s largest carmaker since 2015.

The,上海夜生活服务Pablo, three-day hearing will determine whether the claims can be managed collectively under a Group Litigation Order (GLO) and will set a deadline for claimants to sign up to what lawyers say could become the largest group action in British legal history.

Volkswagen has said about 11 million cars worldwide – and 1.2 million in the UK – were fitted with software that cheated diesel emissions tests designed to limit noxious car fumes and carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution.

VW agreed to pay up to $25 billion in the United States to settle claims from owners, environm上海夜生活论坛ental regulators, states and dealers. It offered to buy back 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles.

The company has not reached a similar deal in Europe, where it faces billions of euros in claims from investors and customers in the worst business crisis of its 78-year history, dubbed “dieselgate”.

Law firm Slater and Gordon, which says it represents more than 40,000 claimants in Britain, alleges VW deceived people into buying cars that breached emissions regulations by installing “defeat devices”, engine management software designed to mask pollution levels.

The German company dismissed the allegations and said it intended to defend itself robustly. It said it had broken no English laws, that British drivers had suffered no loss and that the legal proceedings were premature and unfounded.

“We … are confident of a successful outcome,” the firm said in a statement. It said it had not been established that the software was an illegal defeat device and emphasised that the U.S. situation was “materially different”.

“The vehicles are different, the regulatory environment is different and the technical measures are different. The affected vehicles in the UK do not cause more pollution on the road than expected,” it said.

Volkswagen has offered European drivers a software update removing a mode that operated when cars were experiencing test conditions.

Slat,上海夜生活乌托邦Kailani,er and Gordon, one of at least three law firms acting fo,夜上海论坛Radcliff,r affected VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda drivers in England and Wales, alleged that the software fix had led to mechanical problems.

It said it had surveyed more than 11,600 affected car owners who had agreed to the VW fix. Some reported that cars lost power at high speed, had poorer fuel efficiency and engine power and that cars had “juddered”, it said.

VW said the survey’s methodology had not been explained and that it was in the financial interest of respondents to allege they had suffered damage.

“We have implemented the technical measures in over 840,000 vehicles in the UK and in over 6.4 million vehicles across Europe and the overwhelming majority of customers with these vehicles are satisfied,” it said.

Lawyers say that if the case was not settled, it might not come to trial before 2020.

LVMH’s Vuitton taps Off-White’s Virgil Abloh to design menswear

PARIS ( ) – LVMH’s (LVMH.PA) Louis Vuitton brand, the ,上海凤楼夜网Octava,biggest revenue driver at the French luxury goods group, said on Monday it had hired Virgil Abloh, the founder of streetwear label Off-White, to design its menswear collections.

The appointment follows internal reshuffles at LVMH that included switching menswear designers at sister brand Christian Dior.

Abloh, a 37-year-old American who has worked as hip-hop singer Kanye West’s creative director, launched his first men’s and women上海夜网swear collections through his Off-White label four years ago.

The brand is known for its luxury urban style, featuring hoodies that start at 400 pounds ($570), at a time when high-end brands are adopting some streetwear looks to attract younger shoppers.

Abloh, who interned with the rapper at LVMH’s Fendi label, takes over from Briton Kim Jones – also known for introducing a streetwear look at Vuitton and who was last week named as the new designer of menswear at Dior.

Vuitton chief executive Michael Burke said in a statement that Abloh’s “innate creativity and disruptive approach have made him so relevant, not just in the world of fashion but in popular culture today.”

Menswear is typically a much smaller contribu,上海高端夜生活在那里Pablo,tor to sales than women’s fashion for big brands, but LVMH is shaking up men’s collections across a number of its firms, as well as revamping the management of several labels.

Its French label Ce,上海夜生活桑拿会所Lake,line aims to at least double revenues under incoming designer Hedi Slimane as it branches into menswear and perfumes as well as growing online.

($1 = 0.7048 pounds)

Amazon tracks repeat shoppers for line-free Seattle store – and…

LAS VEGAS ( ) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) is tracking how regularly customers shop at its store without checkout lines in Seattle, and so far, the verdict is they keep coming back.

“The ones who work very close, like in the building up above, will come down even just to grab a drink because it’s so fast and easy,” Amazon Vice President Gianna Puerini said in an interview at the ShopTalk e-commerce conference in Las Vegas.

The detai,上海夜生活网交流Radcliff,l offers an early glimpse at how the store, known as Amazon Go, is faring two months after opening its d,上海夜网后花园Jace,oors to the public. Shopping frequency, sales and other metrics reviewed by Amazon will likely inform how it thinks about expanding the concept elsewhere in the United States, if at all.

Amazon Go is fashioned after small grocery stores, with a crucial difference: it has no cashiers. Customers scan a smartphone app to enter the store, and then cameras and sensors track what they remove from the shelves and what they put back.

Amazon then bills shoppers’ credit cards on file after they leave.

Puerini said store associates spend the vast majority of their time restocking shelves – another indication of the shop’s popularity.

Research-focused venture capital firm Loup Ventures wrote of Amazon Go last month: “Our experience was flawless, leaving us increasingly confident that Amazon is best positioned to own the operating system of automated retail. Eventually, we expect Amazon to make this technology available to other retailers.”

The world’s biggest online retailer first announced a test of Ama上海夜生活zon Go in December 2016, in a challenge to brick-and-mortar rivals that are working to keep their own stores up to date.

However, old practices die hard.

“What we didn’t ,上海会所夜网Idaia,necessarily expect is how many people would stop at the end, on their first trip or two, and ask, ‘Is it really OK if I just leave?’,” Puerini said.

She declined to discuss specific expansion plans and said there were no plans to add the technology to Whole Foods Market, the upscale grocery chain Amazon bought last year. Analysts have speculated otherwise.

In any case, Amazon is still researching how to improve technology at the store.

“If you show a child a can of Coke, you have to show it to them maybe once or twice, and it’s very easy for them to be able to recognize it,” Amazon Vice President Dilip Kumar said in the same interview with . “Not so much with computers.”

The company is working to teach computers to recognize items or activities with as little information as possible – a problem that some of Amazon’s thousands of experts are addressing, Kumar said.

McDonald’s sets greenhouse gas reduction targets

( ) – McDonald’s Corp on Tuesday announced an approved, science based target to cut greenhouse gas emissions and battle climate change, saying it is the first restaurant company to do so.

Under a plan several years in the making, the fast-food company – along with its franchisees and suppliers – aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by roughly one third, preventing 150 million tonnes of them from being released into the atmosphere by 2030.

“To meet this goal, we will source our food responsibly, promote renewable energy and use it efficiently, and reduce waste and increase recycling,” McDonald’s Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said.

The commitment comes as President Donald Trump works to weaken Obama-era efforts to combat clim上海夜生活论坛ate change. Trump decided last year to pull the United States out of the Paris climate pact.

Meat processor Tyson Foods Inc, one of McDonald’s suppliers, is among the hundreds of companies that already have committed to fight climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

McDonald’s said it would put the greatest emphasis on the largest contributors to its carbon footprint: beef production, restaurant energy usage and sourcing, packaging and waste. Those segments combined account for approximately 64 percent of McDonald’s global emissions, the company said.

Among other things, it will support sustainable agricultural practices and packaging. It also plans to install energy-efficient lighting and kitchen equipment, and to encourage recycling in its restaurants.

Between 2015 and 2030, McDonald’s and its partners intend to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to its restaurants and offices by 36 percent. The company also aims to reduce emissions intensity per tonne of food and packaging by 31 percent during that time frame.

McDonald’s program was approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, a collaboration bet,上海夜生活桑拿会所Quay,ween the World Resources Institute, the World Wildlife Fund, CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and the United Nations Global Compact, which help companies address climate change.

“We are about halfway there already on (total) packaging and waste,” Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer.

The planned reductions are the equivalent of taking 32 million pass,上海夜哪里艳遇Octavien,enger cars off the road for an entire year or planting 3.8 billion trees,上海仙霞路夜生活Dahlia, and growing them for 10 years.

CEO Easterbrook, who also has committed to reducing antibiotic use in chicken and cutting artificial ingredients, said the costs would not be disruptive.

“We’re not expecting any substantial shift in business financials either at the corporate or restaurant level,” Easterbrook said.

China’s HNA, shedding debt overseas, is still Hainan’s hometown…

HAIKOU, China ( ) – Hundreds of workers pour concrete as tower cranes swing overhead at the building site where a giant skyscraper is set to soar above the palm-fringed streets of this tropical Chinese city.

The building is the first of two towers that will serve as the gateway to a 200-hectare new central business district in downtown Haikou, capital of the island-province of Hainan in southern China.

The project is being constructed by HNA Group [HNAIRC.UL], the widely scrutinized and highly leveraged aviation-to-financial services conglomerate that got its start in Hainan 25 years ago as a regional airline with just two aircraft.

But HNA is now looking to shed at least some of its sprawling interests in the huge 100 billion yuan ($15.84 billion) business district, as it has done with many of the interests the company has amassed in a $50 billion global spending spree.

HNA is currently in talks with potential “strategic partners” for parts of the development, which a range of investors also have stakes in, according to sources familiar with the situation, even as it prepares to re-organize its operations and shrink its workforce.

The search for investors in HNA’s hometown underlines the difficulties the company is facing as it struggles under the weight of the debt it racked up during its rapid expansion.

HNA told major bank creditors in January t,上海夜生活怎么玩Paisley,hat it faced a potential cash shortfall of at least 15 billion yuan in the first quarter.

In the last two months, HNA has sold more than $6 billion in prime real estate in Australia, New York and Hong Kong, while selling shares in Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), Park Hotels & Resorts (PK.N), and Hilton Grand Vacations Inc (HGV.N).

On Monday, HNA Infrastructure Investment Group (600515.SS), one of the key developers of the Haikou business district, said it would sell a Hainan-based property company and logistics unit to Sunac China (1918.HK), a real estate developer, for 1.9 billion yuan.

When asked for comment on the stake sales, the company said in a statement that “HNA is always looking for trusted partners”.

The master plan for the Haikou business district includes 23 office buildings, residential compounds, and a massive luxury shopping mall. The first of the Haikou Twin Towers, 94-floors high, is scheduled to open in 2020, and will include a St. Regis Hotel.

Anchored in the center of the district is the Hainan provincial government, with HNA’s headquarters, a Buddha-shaped tower, sitting just down the road.

A COMPANY ISLAND

Hainan is in many ways an HNA company island. HNA Group operates 92 enterprises across the provinc,上海夜生活群Octavia,e, employing 30,000 workers, with total assets of nearly $50 billion. It is Hainan’s biggest money maker, with total revenues outstripping the combined sales of the province’s next nine largest companies combined.

HNA is also critical to local government ef上海夜生活forts to establish Hainan as a regional and global tourist ,上海夜生活男人好去处Queena,destination.

The group operates the island’s three commercial airports and its flagship Hainan Airlines operates 17 international and regional routes from the province and transports about 45 percent of all visitors arriving by air here.

The company is currently investing 15.3 billion yuan for a second runway and terminal for Haikou’s international airport, part of an expansion to accommodate 35 million visits by 2025.

The branded tailfin of Hainan Airlines, which travels to 110 cities worldwide, has elevated the province’s name around the world, said Edward Tse, chief executive of Gao Feng Advisory Company, who previously advised Chinese companies at Booz & Company and Boston Consulting Group.

“HNA is a business card for Hainan province,” Tse said.

Hainan’s governor, Shen Xiaoming, who visited HNA’s Haikou headquarters in November just as the severity of the company’s financial struggles emerged, underscored the importance of the group to the province’s development.

“HNA took root in Hainan, understands Hainan, implemented a new development concept in Hainan, and built a modern economic system in Hainan,” Shen said. “If HNA is good, then Hainan is good; when Hainan is good, then HNA is better.”

GOVERNMENT CLEAN-UP

HNA and other non-state conglomerates in China have meanwhile been under intensifying pressure from Beijing to clean up operations and deleverage their businesses.

In recent weeks, Chinese regulators have taken control of Anbang Insurance Group. The government is also investigating the chairman of CEFC, which has agreed to take a $10 billion stake in the Russian oil major Rosneft.

HNA executives have recently elevated their patriotic rhetoric and have tethered company goals closely to those of Beijing.

HNA Capital, for instance, announced on Feb 27 that it was helping to raise 20 billion yuan to help fund projects along China’s new Silk Road trade initiative.

HNA’s cause is the “cause of the party, the cause of the people and the cause of all mankind”, Chen Feng told HNA’s Communist Party members on Feb 7, according to a company report.

HNA’s co-chairman, Wang Jian, voiced a darker message, telling employees that the company’s difficulties were the result of a “major conspiracy” against the party and President Xi Jinping by foreign and domestic “reactionary forces”, according to an internally-distributed email.

China’s leading industrial conglomerates and technology companies all have Communist Party committees, and such rhetoric is not unusual now, said Tse of Gao Feng Advisory.

OFFICIAL SUPPORT

At the same time, HNA is engaged in a wrenching reorganization of both its domestic and overseas businesses.

Other foreign assets involved in the group-wide debt reduction program include a 29.5 percent shareholding in the Spanish hospitality firm NH Hotel Group (NHH.MC) that is up for sale, and the Swiss airline services firms Gategroup and Swissport, which are being prepared for listings.

At home, HNA is undertaking a massive reorganization of its businesses, which include aviation, tourism, healthcare, technology and financial services assets.

Still, repayment of group borrowing, which surged by more than one-third over the first 11 months of last year to 637.5 billion yuan, has been exacerbated by liquidity issues, including the inability to pay a 3 billion yuan aviation fuel bill owed to China National Aviation Fuel Group Ltd by its airlines.

However, the company appears to be getting crucial official support to help it survive, even if it’s unlikely to receive a direct government lifeline.

Hainan’s vice governor, Mao Chaofeng, told in Beijing last week that the province wouldn’t need to intervene, given the quality of HNA’s assets. The State Council Information Office, which acts as the public relations arm of the Chinese government, declined to comment.

HNA has since the end of the year received credit from leading state banks, including Citic Bank, which in February extended the group a 20 billion yuan facility.

Also in February, HNA Infrastructure announced it had obtained a 7.8 billion yuan loan issued by China Development Bank, and the Hainan branches of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, to help complete its work on Haikou’s international airport.

HNA also has been leaning on the more than 100 strategic relationships it has with provincial, municipal and local governments across the country, while pursuing fresh regional cooperation deals.

For example, in the northern municipality of Tianjin, where it employs nearly 10,000 workers and operates a regional airline and cargo facilities, HNA is working with the government to create an international shipping center.

These deals have helped HNA gain crucial credit support from regional banks.

They also underline the extent to which the survival of the sprawling behemoth is important to regional governments, and Beijing.

For China, the stakes are high, said William Kirby, a professor at Harvard Business School who has authored a case study on HNA.

“It’s reputationally important for China to get this right,” Kirby said. “At the end of the day, HNA needs to be deemed a successful Chinese and international company.”

Exchange operator CME Group to buy Britain’s NEX for $5.5 billion

LONDON ( ) – U.S. exchange operator CME Group has agreed to buy NEX Group for $5.5 billion to create a cross-border powerhouse for investors trading in the multi-trillion dollar foreign exchange and government debt markets.

A union of the two firms would enable investors to access cash and futures trading and over-the-counter services via one provider for the first time, improving access to markets, NEX’s founder and Chief Executive Michael Spencer said in a statement.

Spencer is a high-profile figure in London’s financial industry and previously served as treasurer for Britain’s ruling Conservative party. He will join CME’s board and become a special adviser to the company after the deal goes ahe,上海高端夜生活在那里Idaleen,ad, CME said.

“CME’s decision to choose London as its European headquarters is also a signal of tremendous support for Britain’s financial services sector,” Spencer said.

The combined headquarters will be in Chi,上海夜生活群Tabitha,cago.

Spencer, who holds a 17.62 percent stake in NEX according to Thomson Eikon data, stands to make about 670 million pounds from the deal.

CME Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy said the new entity would help investors lower trading expenses and better manage risk.

Shareholders in NEX, which matches buyers and sellers of bonds, swaps and currencies, will receive 500 pence in cash for each NEX share and 0.0444 new CME shares. Each NEX share would be valued at 1,000 pence, CME said.

The offer by CME, one of the world’s biggest exchange groups and owner of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange, represents a 2.9 percent premium to Wednesday’s share price close of 972 pence.

Analysts said CME may have been prompted to bid now to avoid losing out to a rival, as global exchanges face rising competition for business amid shrinking trade volumes.

“This is a good price,” Liberum analyst Justin Bates said, but added that the 50 percent cash component might disappoint some investors leaving “the door ajar for a competing offer with a higher cash compo,上海夜生活Faith,nent.”

He said potential bidders could include ICE, Deutsche Boerse and London Stock Exchange (LSE) (LSE), with ICE the most likely frontrunner.

Nick O’Donnell, M&A partner at law firm Baker McKenzie, said that as the bid had a large paper component, competing offers from rivals using cash, usually preferred by shareholders, could emerge.

NEX was trading below the offer price at 972 pence at 1217 GMT on Thursday. It has risen more than 30 percent in 2017.

EXCHANGE CONSOLIDATION

NEX, known as ICAP before the sale of its voice-broking business to TP ICAP in 2016, provides foreign exchange and fixed income trading technology via its EBS and BrokerTec platforms.

EBS, a foreign exchange matching platform, allows banks and other major institutions to trade the euro, yen上海夜网 and Swiss franc against the dollar, connecting buyers and sellers of currencies in more than 50 countries.

BrokerTec is the market leader for electronic trading in many U.S and European fixed income products, including U.S. Treasuries, European Government Bonds and European Repo.

“It’s a company that has always been ripe for acquisition,” Matthew Page, fund manager at Guinness Asset Management and one of NEX’s 25 largest investors, told , adding CME probably thought “they’ve got to make a move for it now or it might get snapped up by someone else.”

CME said the deal would expand its presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific. It expects the acquisition to generate run rate cost savings of $200 million by the end of 2021.

The deal will add to its cash adjusted earnings per share from 2019, with a one-time cash cost of $285 million, CME said.

The takeover could spook regulators concerned about the potential dominance of a new entity in some markets, especially U.S. government debt, where CME is already in the top position.

Previous big exchange mergers, such LSE and Deutsche Boerse, have hit antitrust buffers.

But the collapse of the LSE-Deutsche Boerse deal did not stem the appetite for exchange deals.

Pan-European exchange Euronext bought the Irish Stock Exchange for 137 million euros ($168.88 million) last year.

The deal to buy NEX is CME’s largest since the financial crisis. It bought NYMEX in 2008 for $11 billion. reut.rs/2GTwIOA

“CME do not seem to be planning any divestments, which may disappoint the European exchanges,” a research note by Exane BNP Paribas said.

A marriage of CME’s clearing house and NEX’s TriOptima compression service will allow CME to compete against the dominance of LCH in the OTC clearing market, the note said.

LCH, part of the LSE, dominates clearing in euro-denominated instruments such as debt repurchase agreements and interest rate swaps.

“Whatever happens, whether there is a competing bid for (NEX) or not, you will see continued consolidation in the exchange space,” Liberum analyst Bates said.

($1 = 0.7099 pounds)

($1 = 0.8112 euros)

Colombia’s FARC rebels to meet Kerry in Cuba during Obama trip

HAVANA/BOGOTA ( ) – Members of Colombia’s Marxist FARC guerrillas will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Cuba, a spokeswoman for Colombia’s government peace negotiators said on Sunday, adding a twist to a historic visit to the island by U.S. President Barack Obama.

The meeting with Kerry on Monday will be the first time a U.S. secretary of state has met the negotiators from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, who have been talking peace with the Colombian government in Havana for more than three years.

“At around 4 p.m. ,上海夜生活网交流Nala,(2000 GMT), the meeting between Kerry and the FARC delegation will take place,” after the ,上海夜生活群Caden,Colombian government delegation meet him, the spokeswoman said.

A source at Colombia’s Office of the High Commissioner for Peace said the rebels and Colombian government negotiators would also go to an exhibition game between Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays and C,上海夜网推油Dakota,uba’s national team on Tuesday.

That game will be attended by Obama, who on Sunday became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba in nearly 90 years.

But FARC negotiator Pastor Alape said he was not aware of an invitation to attend the baseball game. He said that before meeting with Kerry, the rebels would meet the U.S. special envoy for Colombian peace talks, Bernard Aronson, to agree on an agenda.

The United States sees the Colombian peace talks hosted in Havana as an example of how restoring normal relations with Cuba can help its wider goals in Latin America.

Latin America’s longest war has killed some 220,000 people and displaced millions of others since 1964. The government and rebels are attempting to reach a deal 上海夜生活论坛that would be placed before Colombian voters for approval, with a U.N. mission supervising rebel disarmament.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londono, better known by the nom de guerre Timochenko, had set a self-imposed March 23 deadline to reach a comprehensive pact but have since conceded that goal may not be reached.

Washington designated the FARC as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997, and many of its leaders have been indicted in the United States on charges of cocaine trafficking.

Former F-Squared CEO must pay $12.4 million in SEC case: U.S. judge

BOSTON ( ) – The former chief executive of F-Squared Investments Inc, once the largest U.S. money manager creating portfolios out of exchange-traded funds, must pay more than $12.4 million for making false statements to investors, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin in Boston issued the order 上海夜生活网after a federal jury in October found former F-Squared CEO Howard Present liable in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sorokin said Present had failed to recognize the harm he caused by recklessly making false statements that lured investors seeking to avoid market declines after the 2008 financial crisis.

“Present was reckless, his conduct was repeated, and he has never meaningfully acknowledged or appreciated his own misconduct,” Sorokin wrote,上海夜网推油Larissa,.

The judge ordered Present to disgorge more than $10.85 million in earnings and pay a nearly,上海夜生活网交流Caden, $1.56 million civil penalty. Sorokin also said an injunction was needed to ensure Present did not engage in future violations given his “egregious” conduct.

A lawyer for Present did not respond to requests for comment. Present, the co-founder of Wellesley, Massachusetts-based F-Squared, has denied wrongdoing.

The SEC sued Present in 2014 on the same day it announced F-Squared had agreed to pay $35 million and admit wrongdoing to resolve claims it misled investors by falsely advertising the performance of an investment product called AlphaSector.

At its height, F-Squared was one of the largest U.S. firm,上海晚上耍女人的地方Sabine,s of its kind, with more than $28 billion invested with it, the SEC said. It filed for bankruptcy in 2015.

According to the SEC, beginning in September 2008 amid the economic crisis, Present began marketing AlphaSector as having a successful record dating back to 2001 that was based on a multibillion-dollar wealth manager’s strategy.

In truth, the data F-Squared used to market AlphaSector was based on an algorithm developed by a college student at a nearby firm and was applied to historical market data, resulting in a hypothetical performance, the SEC said.

The SEC also said an F-Squared analyst who calculated the hypothetical numbers made a mistake in the process that substantially inflated the investment performance that appeared in marketing materials Present wrote.

Despite learning about the error, Present did not tell the analyst to correct it and continued using the inflated performance figures, the SEC said.

Following a four-week trial, a jury on October found that Present intentionally or recklessly violated the Investment Advisers Act.

The case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Present, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 14-cv-14692.

U.S. fourth-quarter growth revised up to 2.9 percent; consumer…

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. economic growth slowed less than previously estimated in the fourth quarter as the biggest gain in consumer spending in three years partially offset the drag from a jump in imports.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2017, instead of the previously reported 2.5 percent, the Commerce Department said in its third estimate for the quarter on Wednesday. That was a slight moderation from the third quarter’s brisk 3.2 percent pace.

The upward revision to the fourth-quarter growth estimate also reflected less inventory reduction than previously reported. Economists polled by had expected that fourth-quarter GDP growth would be revised up to a 2.7 per,夜上海419龙凤论坛Hadrian,cent rate.

There are signs that economic activity slowed further in the first quarter, with retail sales falling in February for a third straight month. Housing data have been generally weak and the trade deficit hit a more than nine-year high in January.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve is currently forecasting the economy growing at a 1.8 percent rate in the January-March period. First-quarter GDP growth tends to be weak because of a seasonal quirk.

Still, analysts believe the economy will hit the Trump administration’s 3 percent annual growth target this year, driven by the $1.5 trillion tax cut package and an increase in government spending.

That could keep the door open to slightly more aggressive interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve this year. The U.S. central bank raised rates last week and forecast at least two more hikes for 2018. The Fed also lifted its economic growth projections for this year and 2019.

“Tax cuts and stronger government spending will boost average GDP growth to 2.9 percent in 2018,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Econom,上海夜哪里艳遇Lance,ics in New York. “We forecast this environment will lead the Fed to raise interest rates four times this year.”

There are worries the Trump administration’s adoption of protectionist trade measures could sour business sentiment and hurt spending on capital goods.

President Donald Trump last week signed a memorandum targeting up to $60 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs over what his administration says is misappropriation of U.S. intellectual property. Trump also has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The economy grew 2.3 percent in 2017, an acceleration from the 1.5 percent logged in 2016.

Related CoverageU.S. pending home sales rise in February

U.S. financial markets were little moved by Wednesday’s data. Stocks on Wall Street were trading mostly higher, while prices of U.S. Treasuries edged up. The dollar .DXY firmed against a basket of currencies, pushing further away from a five-week low in the prior session.

SLOW INCOME GROWTH

The government also reported on Wednesday that after-tax corporate profits increased at a 1.7 percent rate in the fourth quarter after rising at a 5.7 percent pace in the third quarter.

As a result, an alternate measure of growth, gross domestic income, rose at a 0.9 percent rate in the October-December period. GDI expanded at a 2.4 percent rate in the third quarter.

The average of GDP and GDI, also referred to as gross domestic output and considered a better measure of economic activity, increased at a 1.9 percent rate in the fourth quarter. That followed a 2.8 percent rate of growth in the prior period.

Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, was revised up to a 4.0 percent rate in the fourth quarter from the 3.8 percent pace reported last month. That was the quickest pace since the fourth quarter of 2014 and followed a 2.2 percent rate of growth in the July-September period.

Imports grew at an upwardly revised 14.1 percent pace instead of the previously reported 14.0 percent rate. That was the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2010 and overshadowed a rise in exports driven by weakness in the dollar.

The resulti上海夜网ng trade deficit sliced off 1.16 percentage points from GDP growth last quarter, the most in a year, after adding 0.36 percentage point in the third quarter. Trade will likely remain a drag on GDP growth in the first quarter.

A separate report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed the goods trade deficit rose 0.1 percent in February as an increase in imports slightly outpaced a jump in exports.

“The drag (from trade) looks less meaningful than we had previously anticipated, likely coming in around a half percentage point,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.

While robust consumer spending curbed the accumulation of inventories, the slowdown in inventory investment was not as steep as previously reported.

Inventory investment rose at a rate of $15.6 billion in the fourth quarter instead of the previously reported $8.0 billion pace. Inventories subtracted 0.53 percentage point from GDP growth after adding 0.79 percentage point in the prior period.

Inventories could contribute to growth in the first quarter. The Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that both wholesale and retail inventories increased solidly in February.

There were modest downward revisions to business and residential construction spending growth estim,上海夜生活桑拿会所Fabi,ates in the fourth quarter. Growth in government spending was raised slightly.

Automakers keep wary eye on tariff impact, possible trade war

NEW YORK ( ) – Executives from major automakers raised concerns at the New York auto show this week about the possibility of a trade war after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this month, especially at a time when U.S. sales of new vehicles are in decline.

“Protectionism doesn’t have w,上海夜生活群Paige,inners,” Hinrich Woebcken, Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) North American chief executive, told . “When you start to raise bars, you are bringing an imbalance of trade that will not produce any winners.”

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel imports earlier this month that industry experts and manufacturers say could lower profits for companies making everything from pickup trucks to canned soup, or result in higher prices for consumers.

Trump has criticized Germany for levying tariffs on vehicles s,上海夜网官方网站Fabiana,hipped from the United States, and threatened to impose higher tariffs on German-made vehicles. That has made executives nervous in an industry that is global. The Trump administration has also proposed tariffs on Chinese goods.

“Everybody who does a lot of business with China would be concerned about a trade war,” said Johan de Nysschen, head of General Motors Co’s luxury Cadillac division. “A trade war would be harmful to that so we all hope that it does not happen.” China is critical to Cadillac’s future growth strategy, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra told investors on Wednesday.

U.S. auto industry sales fell 2 percent last year to 17.23 million vehicles after hitting a record high in 2016.

New vehicle sales are expected to drop further in 2018 despite a solid economy as interest rates rise.

Jack Hollis, Toyota Motor Corp’s North American head of sales and marketi上海夜生活论坛ng, said tariffs would mean higher prices.

“We’ll all just have to raise prices … because there’s no way you can absorb” all that extra cost, he said.

John Bozzella, head of G,夜上海论坛Fabiana,lobal Automakers, which represents Toyota, Hyundai Motor Co, Honda Motor Co Ltd and others, said the trade group is pushing to convince policymakers the tariffs do not make sense as automakers export 2 million vehicles annually from the United States.

Scott Keogh, head of U.S. operations for Volkswagen’s Audi brand, said the U.S. car market is built on “stability and confidence and we need to continue that.”

“If you look at the number one correlation that drives luxury car sales, it’s consumer confidence,” he said.